It was 1975 when Anchor Brewing (San Francisco, CA) starting releasing a “Christmas Ale.” I use parenthesis because Christmas ale isn’t exactly a style like say — IPA or Bock. Anchor Christmas is actually considered a “winter warmer” style ale.
Winter warmers are English strong ales, brewed during the winter months. Winter warmers have a strong malt presence, dark in color, with a touch of sweet taste on the palette. You won’t find winter warmers under 5% ABV. Glancing over as list of warmer ales, many begin at 6% and go to 8% or higher. The higher ABV makes these ales a good candidate for cellaring.
Anchor Christmas is a different recipe every year, as it has been since ’75. The bottle label traditionally depicts a tree, which is also different with each year. Christmas ’09 has already hit shelves in 6 packs — (yes, its almost Halloween) — 6 pack — 9.49, Magnum bottles — 14.99 @ Hop City.
Tonight — October 29th, Taco Mac Metropolis is tapping Anchor Christmas 2008, and 2009 side by side to compare changes in the recipe. Typically, this beer cellars very well, and I bet the ’08 will not disappoint.
Tapping @ 6 pm.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Halloween…